The much-anticipated Euro 2020 championships kick off on Friday, with Italy hosting fast-improving Turkey at the legendary Stadio Olimpico, after a year of waiting.
While the Azzurri hope to take advantage of home advantage in Rome, their Turkish counterparts are hoping to avoid defeat in their first match of the competition for the fifth time.
The Azzurri, who haven’t won a continental title since 1968, enter Group A as one of the favorites to win the Henri Delaunay trophy next month, thanks to their persistent great play last season.
Uğurcan Çakır; Zeki Çelik, Merih Demiral, Çağlar Söyüncü, Umut Meraş; Okay Yokuşlu, Ozan Tufan, Hakan Çalhanoğlu, Cengiz Ünder, Kenan; Burak Yılmaz
Donnarumma; Florenzi, Bonucci, Chiellini, Spinazzola; Barella, Jorginho, Locatelli; Berardi, Immobile, Insigne
What the coaches say
Şenol Güneş, Turkey coach: “The result we get in the first match is important; a draw or a win can cause confusion in the group. I hope so. I want to see our strength in the first match; even if we lose, it’s important to play well. I hope it’s going to be a great game, an enjoyable game … and that we win!”
Roberto Mancini, Italy coach: “We must respect Turkey, they are a side full of talent. The opener is always difficult, and there will be plenty of emotions but you can’t get too carried away. I don’t think there is an excess of enthusiasm: The fans can have that; we know who we are up against. The desire to be protagonists at this EURO is huge but this is a match to be played with lightheartedness. We can do it!”
Head to Head
Turkey = 0
Darw = 3
Italy = 8